COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Last update: March 17, 2023

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Visit our COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard for up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Ottawa.

Vaccine information

Which vaccines are approved in Canada?  

 Please also see the Government of Canada’s list of approved vaccines authorized for use in Canada.

Who can receive a COVID-19 vaccine?

Who can receive a COVID-19 vaccine primary series?

  • Everyone six months or older at the time of their appointment is currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine primary series.
  • Children aged 6 months to 4 years getting the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, require 3 doses to complete a primary series.
  • All residents are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they can, and to receive further doses as soon as they are eligible to ensure maximum protection against COVID-19.
How can individuals access the Novavax (Nuvaxovid) COVID-19 vaccine?

Individuals cannot book through the provincial portal. Booking is done through local public health units.  Thisonline form can be used to registerfor a Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.

Our COVID-19 vaccine frequently asked questions page has more information about the Novavax (Nuvaxovid) COVID-19 vaccine for patients.

Who can receive a three dose primary series?

A three-dose primary series is recommended for certain individuals.

A ‘three-dose’ primary series refers to a series of three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to make up a primary series offered to those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. A third dose is added to the standard two-dose “primary vaccine series” to improve the immune response and establish an adequate level of protection for those who did not develop immunity or did not develop an optimal immune response after a 2-dose primary series (the exception is the monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech (3 mcg) primary series for individuals 6 months to 4 years which requires three doses to complete a standard primary series). An extended primary series constitutes administration of an additional dose to complete the primary series. See the COVID-19 chapter in the Canadian Immunization Guide: Immunocompromised persons for more information.  

Please see COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance ( for more information on eligibility for a three-dose primary series.

The recommended spacing between doses is eight weeks (56 days). In some cases, the number of days between doses may be shortened as advised by health care providers or specialists. Proof of immune status is no longer required to receive an additional primary series dose or priority access for a booster dose. Please see the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance for more information.

Who can receive a booster?

OPH recommends booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine for those who are eligible.

Booster eligibility:

Booster dose(s) are recommended for all eligible populations based on the ongoing risk of infection due to waning immunity, the ongoing risk of severe illness from COVID-19, the societal disruption that results from transmission of infections, and the adverse impacts on health system capacity from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The optimal interval after a previous COVID-19 vaccination or confirmed SARSCoV-2 infection is 6 months. A shortened interval of at least 3 months may be considered in the context of heightened epidemiologic risk and for those at high risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes.

Age-Based Recommendations:

Infants and children 6 months to 4 years are not eligible for a booster dose at this time.

Individuals 5 to11 years are eligible to receive a booster dose after completion of a primary COVID-19 vaccine series. The booster dose is recommended 6 months (168 days) after the previous dose or COVID-19 infection. However, people may choose to receive a booster dose as early as three months (84 days) after their previous dose with informed consent. As per the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), more time between doses has shown to result in a better immune response and protection.

As per NACI, only one booster dose is recommended after the primary series for children five to 11 years of age, at this time. Children who have already received a booster dose (including a monovalent booster) are expected to have good protection. 

Booster eligibility for people 12 years of age and older

People 12 years of age and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose this 2022-23 respiratory season (after September 1, 2022), regardless of how many booster doses they have already received. The booster dose is recommended 6 months (168 days) after the previous dose or COVID-19 infection. The Ministry of Health strongly recommends the following vulnerable groups receive their COVID-19 booster as soon as possible (as early as 3-months or 84 days) if they have not received one since September 1, 2022:

  • People 65 years of age and older 
  • Residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, Elder Care Lodges and people living in other congregate settings that are 12 years of age and older 
  • Adults who identify as First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals and their adult non-Indigenous household members 
  • People 12 years of age and older with one or more underlying medical condition that places them at high risk of severe COVID-19, including moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals 
  • People who are pregnant
  • Adults in racialized and/or marginalized communities disproportionately affected by COVID9
  • Health care workers

All other people may choose to receive their booster dose as early as three months (84 days) after their previous dose with informed consent. As per the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), more time between doses has shown to result in a better immune response and protection.

People who have already received a booster dose (monovalent or bivalent) this respiratory season (September 1, 2022 onward) do not require an additional booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at this time. Both the monovalent and bivalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines will boost the immune response and are expected to provide good protection.

These recommendations are based on NACI recommendations for COVID-19 vaccine booster doses, however, is subject to change as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.

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Supporting your patients to get vaccinated 

For more information on vaccine clinics in Ottawa, including where your patients can get vaccinated, patients can visit our public COVID-19 Vaccine webpage

Resources for patient counselling for the COVID-19  vaccines are available from the Centre of Effective Practice.

Additionally, The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has developed a resource titled the COVID-19 Vaccination Tool Kit for Health Care Providers . This tool-kit  provides health care providers with evidence-informed resources to support informed choices and constructive dialogue with patients about COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in Canada.

Even if your patient decides not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, please continue to recommend they stay up to date with other vaccinations, including vaccination against influenza.

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Medical Exemptions from Vaccination

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided guidance to assist health care providers to determine if their patient has a contraindication to COVID-19 vaccination that qualifies for a medical exemption. See Table 1 in the linked Ministry of Health guidance document (PDF).

As per provincial guidance, in many instances, safe administration of subsequent doses of COVID-19 vaccine is possible under the management of an appropriate physician or nurse practitioner. True medical exemptions are expected to be infrequent and should be supported by expert consultation.

For further details, please see - Statement of Medical Exemption – COVID-19 Vaccine

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Contraindications to Vaccination

If a patient has a history of severe immediate allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to the vaccine or any of the vaccine ingredients, health care practitioners are encouraged to refer patients to an allergist prior to administration of COVID-19 vaccine.

People who experienced a severe immediate allergic reaction after a dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine can safely receive future doses of the same or another mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after consulting with an allergist/immunologist or another appropriate physician. For more information, please consult the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance.

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Report an Adverse Event Following Immunization

Under the Health Protection and Promotion Act of Ontario, all healthcare providers are required to report AEFIs to local public health units. If you see a patient with symptoms that could possibly be related to a recent immunization, you as the healthcare provider are required to report the AEFI. Submitting a report doesn’t mean that the vaccine caused the event, but this is a critical component of monitoring the safety of all vaccines.

In addition to AEFIs, health care practitioners are asked to report Adverse Events of Special Interests (PDF) for COVID-19 vaccine safety surveillance. AEFIs and AESIs are reportable to the health unit of the patient’s residence. The reporting forms (PDF) can be submitted by fax to OPH at 613-580-9660 or through our online form. If you are unsure, please be proactive and report.

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Become a Vaccine Provider

Primary care providers in Ottawa are invited to administer COVID-19 vaccines in their offices. Please contact COVID Vaccine Partners at for more information. To order Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, complete the Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 vaccine order form.

Physician Billing

The Ontario Medical Association has outlined information pertaining to billing for COVID-19 vaccination (PDF). The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care also publishes OHIP bulletins to update on billing concerns, which include COVID-19. Physicians can also check the OMA portal for updates. Questions regarding submission of billing codes should be directed to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term. Care’s Service Support Contact Centre at

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Resources for Healthcare providers

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<Back to the Information on COVID-19 for Physician's and Health Care Professionals webpage

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